Posts tagged ‘Fantasy’

DAUGHTERS OF THE SEA: HANNAH by Kathryn Lasky (Scholastic 2009)

hannahThere are at least three different plot lines in this fantasy; a chaste love story, a girl who can turn herself into a mermaid, and the social mores of the upper class and the servant class below stairs. Hannah is a teenage orphan who must find employment. She is outspoken and opinionated which is not welcome in a servant. However, she manages to secure a job as a scullery maid in the posh residence of the Hawleys in Boston. She is also deeply drawn to the sea. The Hawleys have a summer house in Mount Desert Island in Maine. There she discovers that when she submerges in the ocean she turns into a mermaid. It is lucky for her to have this means of escape because both Hannah and Lila Hawley fall in love with the same artist. Lasky spends great chunks of time analyzing the cramped lives of the servant class and the spoiled lives of the Brahmins. Unconvincingly, young Hannah has 21st century ideas of equality while living in the 19th century. Neither the love story nor the class descriptions make this a compelling book.

J Fantasy, Not Recommended- Lillian Hecker-PELHAM


October 28, 2009 at 7:35 pm Leave a comment

THE BOOK OF DRAGONS by E. Nesbit and illustrated by H.R. Millar (Random House Children’s Books 2010)

dragonsOver 100 years ago Edith Nesbit wrote children’s books in England that include this one about dragons. You may wonder whether 21st century children will enjoy listening to or reading this old book. In my mind, these eight stories would work best when adults read to children.  English money, nannies, royalty, Guy Fawkes, Parliament and other place and time details can be quickly explained. The fanciful aspects, on the other hand, require no explications. None of the dragons in these tales are overly frightening, but all require careful handling by clever children.  Not only do the children manage to rid the world of insatiable armor-clad creatures, they do so by doing good. The children outwit the adults and win the friendships of helpful creatures by acting compassionately. Negative qualities, such as male gender preference, school routines, officious government leaders, pride, and caning come in for some rough drubbing by Nesbit. Although the world never seems to run out of dragons, every story in this collection has a happy ending.

J Fiction (Fantasy).  Recommended- Lillian Hecker (Pelham)

October 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm Leave a comment

STORYTELLER by Edward Myers

storytellerThe Storyteller is a low-key fantasy with a somewhat pedantic and predictable plot. Jack, a young storyteller, leaves home to seek his fortune and along the way he tells stories, falls in love with a princess, and foils an evil king. The author uses storytelling to convey a message about propaganda and the arts. May appeal to fans of more low-key fantasies.

Grades 5-8. 283pp

Additional purchase (where fantasies are popular)- Aili Whelan (Grinton I. Will Library, Yonkers)




April 15, 2009 at 1:44 pm Leave a comment


wingsThis fairy tale, based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, includes some of the original characters: Queen Tatania, fairies, and a world apart from ours that treats humans like playthings. Tamisin, a girl of fifteen, knows she is different. Years ago, on one Halloween night, she saw that the costumed creatures leering at her were not human but true goblins. She made her escape by commanding lightning to strike her pursuers.  Now, the evil goblins want her underground with them. They send Jak, a half human-half goblin to her high school to bring her back. Jak and Tamisin confront very unlikable people both on earth and below. At one point Tamisin sprouts wings, but hides them beneath her clothes. Like the unused wings on Tamisin’s back, Baker’s story remains flat.


Not recommended.  Lillian Hecker- Pelham

December 30, 2008 at 4:07 pm 2 comments

WARRIORS : Cats of the Clans by Erin Hunter and illustrated by Wayne McLoughlin

warriorsFor old fans as well as for those discovering this author’s Warrior series of mythical cats stories— now in more than twenty titles—this is a guide to the lives and personalities of the main characters.  With full color portraits, “biographies” and maps of their world.

Ages 9-12, 96 pages.  Recommended, Amelia Carling-Pelham

December 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm Leave a comment


spellboundFrom the moment Athene laid eyes on her baby brother Zach, enmity against him arose in her heart. She was devilishly clever in making his life miserable without arousing suspicion in her feckless parents. Conditions to permanently rid herself of Zach occurred on the family vacation at Freshwater Farms. Athene met speckled creatures called Gloams that lived in the fields. They told her to avoid a large hollow tree because it was magically controlled by underworld Low Gloams that would imprison for life any animal that fell into its grasp. With little effort, Athene got Zach to fall into that trap. The rest of the book recounts her adventures in trying to rescue her brother and to free the rest of the captives. Athene uses her intelligence to help rather than harm in this spell bound world. Through planning, cunning, and cooperating with the Gloams, Athene masters an alternate universe that transforms her.  

J-Fic, Fantasy 

Recommended by Lillian Hecker- Pelham

November 19, 2008 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment